SNAPSHOT: Legal Campaigners Fight Climate Change Through the Courts

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Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

2018 saw an uptick in legal action on climate change, with citizens, cities, and states turning to the courts to push for faster government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or hold fossil companies accountable for their outsized role in bringing about the climate crisis.

In a landmark decision that had climate hawks around much of the world hoping for a precedent, an appeal court in the Netherlands upheld a lower court order calling for faster emissions cuts by the national government. Courts in Germany ordered three cities to consider banning high-polluting diesel vehicles and temporarily protected a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest from an open-cast coal mine. A report found that more than 80 climate-related lawsuits had landed in U.S. courtrooms in 2017.

The Rise of Climate Attribution Litigation

Legal campaigners built on the emergence of climate impact attribution studies in 2017 as a possible tool for holding fossils, other businesses, and governments accountable for climate impacts by pinpointing the role of major emitters in climate disasters. In mid-May, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said time will tell how well attribution science fares in court. But by then, District Court Judge William Alsup had upheld two California cities’ right to attempt to sue carbon polluters in federal court. Alsup ultimately ruled against the cities, dealing “the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year,” Climate Liability News reported. But before concluding that it was up to elected legislators, not an unelected judge, to decide whether the world is better off without oil, Alsup held what amounted to a climate science seminar in his courtroom, in what Michael Burger, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, called “the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States to date.”

In Canada, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Georgia Strait Alliance were satisfied with the near-miss when a proposal to send municipal climate accountability letters to 20 colossal fossils earned the support of 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities. While “we narrowly lost the vote,” wrote WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it” given the quick pace at which the proposal gained support. WCEL also released a legal tookit for campaigners opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legal Action from All Directions

Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to sue fossils for climate impacts; Colorado filed against ExxonMobil and Suncor; and New York City launched a claim against five giant fossil producers for their role in Hurricane Sandy, “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies” that left 44 dead and US$19 billion in damage after it stormed ashore in October 2012.

Later in the year, New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that America’s biggest oil company had misled investors about its management of climate risk. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni had previously accused Exxon of “running roughshod over the adage that the best defence is a good offence” with its claim that New York and Massachusetts were violating its free speech rights by probing whether it had misled investors. A bipartisan group in the United States proposed a carbon tax deal that would have protected fossils from future climate liability.

Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers discovered that Royal Dutch Shell understood the urgency of climate change as far back as 1988. In mid-November, U.S. crab fishers sued 30 fossils, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Fourteen U.S. states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its methane control regulations, 19 states threatened legal action after the Trump administration moved to roll back tailpipe emission standards, and Colorado’s oil and gas regulator faced an environmental lawsuit from a poor, mostly Hispanic neighbourhood in the city of Greeley.

A Quebec village defeated a lawsuit that would have prevented it from protecting its water supply from fossil exploration. South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a local anti-pipeline ordinance, and anti-pipeline campaigners found out to their dismay that when they win in court, U.S. regulators just change the rules. Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) opened a class action suit on behalf of Quebec youth aged 35 and under, taking Ottawa to task for its inadequate plan to combat climate change.

More Delays for Landmark Youth Lawsuit

The Trump administration continued its feverish effort to keep the 21 youth plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States out of court. After the White House lost a bid to quash the case in March, the trial was scheduled for October 29. The plaintiffs bought their train tickets to Eugene, Oregon, only to be held up again by additional court challenges.

Youth in Colombia took their government to court for failing to protect their future, and eight youth plaintiffs filed suit in mid-April against Florida’s climate-denying governor, Rick Scott.

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Study Reveals Unreliable, Inconsistent Assessments of Tar Sands/Oil Sands Impacts

Inconsistent science has marred the credibility of dozens of past environmental impact studies of the Alberta tar sands/oil sands, according to a new assessment published in the journal Environmental Reviews.

California Sets Sights on Up to 100,000 New Net-Zero Homes Per Year

Net-zero buildings that produce as much energy as they consume may be about to hit the mainstream in California, where most new homes and multi-residential structures up to three stories high will be equipped with rooftop solar panels beginning next year.

Montana Judge Mostly Keeps Keystone XL Injunction in Place

Ontario Introduces Carbon Tax After Railing Against Carbon Taxes

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is introducing a carbon tax on large emitters that exceed a yet-to-be-established provincial standard, after launching a lawsuit against the federal floor price on carbon and deliberately gutting the province’s most affordable pathways to a sustainable economy.

Supreme Court’s Redwater Decision Could Make Credit More Costly, Less Available for Canadian Fossils

Lenders are paying attention to the recent Supreme Court decision holding bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up the production sites they abandon. The result may be tougher loan terms for new oil and gas projects.

Alberta Oil Curtailment Drives Down Crude By Rail

Alberta’s plan to boost the price Canadian heavy crude by eliminating a glut via mandatory production curtailments has created an unintended consequence that has some fossils crying foul: It’s driven prices high enough to make it tougher for producers to ship oil by rail.

U.S. Senate Adopts Major Public Land Conservation Bill

New Mexico Moving Fast on Tougher Methane Regulations

Retired B.C. Lawyer Risks 28-Day Sentence to Invoke Necessity Defence for Pipeline Protest

A retired lawyer from Vancouver is risking a 28-day prison sentence to test the necessity defence as a legal strategy to block fossil projects that would drive up the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Dozens of Democrats, One Republican Table Pro-Paris House Resolution

Trans Mountain’s Fee Plan for Fossil Customers Represents $2-Billion Taxpayer Subsidy

Canadian taxpayers will be on the hook for another $2-billion fossil fuel subsidy if the National Energy Board accepts the latest request from the federal Crown corporation that now operates the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, economist Robyn Allan reports in a National Observer exposé.

Landmark Court Ruling Cites Climate Impact in Refusing New Australian Coal Mine

In what’s being hailed as a landmark ruling, the Land and Environment Court in New South Wales, Australia has listed climate change as one of the reasons to reject construction of a new open-cut coal mine.

U.S. Injunction Demands Halt to New Fossil Infrastructure Until Youth Climate Case is Heard

The 21 youth plaintiffs in the landmark Juliana v. United States are asking a judge for a temporary injunction against new fossil fuel leases or development until their case, which has been subject to multiple delays by the Trump administration, can be settled.

Green New Deal Envisions Net-Zero Emissions in 10 Years Through WWII-Scale Effort

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) released an outline of the Democrats’ Green New Deal yesterday, in the form of a 14-page Congressional resolution that would bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in 10 years by “dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources”.

Trump Light Bulb Efficiency Rollback to Cost Consumers $12 Billion, Boost Emissions by 34 Megatonnes Per Year

The Trump administration’s decision to rescind new energy efficiency standards for light bulbs will cost consumers at least US$12 billion per year by 2025, while increasing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 34 million tonnes and annual electricity use by 80 billion kilowatt-hours in that year, according to an analysis released this week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

UK Appeal Court Rejects Citizen Climate Case

Legal Challenges Push Two U.S. Gas Pipelines Behind Schedule, Over Budget

Two U.S. natural gas pipelines, the Atlantic Coast line from West Virginia to North Carolina and the Mountain Valley line from West Virginia to Virginia, have both fallen behind schedule and run over budget, partly due to fierce legal opposition on environmental grounds.

California Study Urges Road Usage Charge for EVs

Supreme Court Holds Bankrupt Fossils Responsible for Cleaning Abandoned Sites

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling that holds bankrupt fossils responsible for cleaning up their abandoned oil and gas wells will produce lasting impacts across western Canada, but may not completely address the massive environmental liabilities the companies leave behind, according to initial reporting and analysis of the decision.

China Largely Failing to Curb Methane Emissions from Coal Mines

China’s ambitious plans to prevent climate-wrecking methane from slipping out of its coal mines and into the atmosphere have so far proven ineffectual, according to a study of satellite data recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

Athabaska Chipewyan Push Back on Syncrude Expansion

TransCanada Tries to Offload Majority Share of Coastal GasLink Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation is trying to sell off a majority share of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the controversial, C$6.2-billion project that has faced sustained opposition from Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in northwestern British Columbia.

Trans Mountain’s ‘Amateur Hour’ Work Destroys River Habitat, Endangers Salmon

Federally-owned Trans Mountain Corporation’s “amateur hour” work on the Stewart Creek river crossing in Chilliwack, British Columbia has destroyed habitat and will reduce food sources for coho and chum salmon that are part of the diet of the endangered southern resident killer whale pod off the west coast.

Ottawa Won’t ‘Cut Corners’ on Trans Mountain Review, Sohi Says

With the National Energy Board set to report February 22 on the marine impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said last week the government won’t take any shortcuts in its review of the project—even though he understands how badly Alberta oil and gas workers want to get construction under way.

Santa Barbara Activists Trace Green Awareness, Fossil Skepticism to 1969 Offshore Oil Spill

With the Donald Trump administration racing to deregulate the fossil industry and encourage oil and gas drilling off America’s coasts, Californians stopped on January 28 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill—the worst disaster of its kind to that date, and one of a handful of ecological disasters that launched the modern U.S. environmental movement.

France, Spain Drop Plans for International Gas Pipeline

Indigenous Group in Patagonia Sues Fossils for Environmental Harm

Irish High Court to Rule on Challenge to National Climate Plan

Russia Considers Cap-and-Trade Law

Coastal GasLink Destroys Traplines as Federal Minister Blames Indian Act for Conflict

Construction crews working on the controversial Coastal GasLink pipeline are bulldozing traplines in Wetsu’we’ten territory in northeastern British Columbia, the community is warning, in violation of the Wildlife Act and in spite of an agreement between hereditary chiefs and the RCMP that called for no interference with traplines or other traditional practices.

UK Enviros Launch Lawsuit Against Third Heathrow Runway

Six Pipelines, Assorted Tax Breaks Lead Fossil Wish List as Alberta Election Approaches

Government support for six new tar sands/oil sands pipelines and four major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, along with assorted tax cuts and regulatory breaks, led the wish list the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released Tuesday in advance of the provincial election coming up in Alberta this spring.

New Report Shows U.S. #UtilitiesKnew Climate Risks by Late 1960s

Electric utilities in the United States understood the risks of climate change five decades ago, but still positioned themselves as epic greenhouse gas emitters, according to a report last week by the San Francisco-based Energy and Policy Institute.

Lack of Climate Disclosure Puts Canadian Pensioners, Investment Funds at Risk

Canada needs a three-year plan to mandate better disclosure of climate-related risks in corporations’ annual reports, Ottawa-based cleantech analyst Céline Bak concludes in a study released last week by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Exxon PR Officials Masquerade as Journalists in Bid to Draw Out Opposing Lawyer

Two ExxonMobil public relations officials recently masqueraded as journalists in hopes of gathering information from a Colorado lawyer involved in a lawsuit against the colossal fossil for climate-related damages.

Albertans Paying the Price for Delinquent Oil Wells

North Stormont Wind Farm Clears Regulatory Challenge

Include Climate Impacts in Trans Mountain Review, IPCC Authors Urge NEB

New fossil projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will make it far tougher to meet the 1.5°C global warming target that is essential for averting the worst effects of climate change, a Canadian climate scientist told the National Energy Board this week.

Steelhead LNG Proposes Fracked Gas Pipeline from Chetwynd, B.C. to Vancouver Island

The Steelhead LNG liquefied natural gas project is studying a pipeline route from Chetwynd, in northeastern British Columbia, to the Kwispaa LNG facility it plans to build on Vancouver Island.

Victoria Supports Class Action Lawsuit to Hold Fossils Accountable

Victoria has become the first city in British Columbia to support a class action lawsuit calling on fossil companies to cover their fair share of the costs municipalities will incur as a result of climate change.

Ottawa Unlikely to Unload Trans Mountain Before Federal Election, Despite Some First Nations’ Interest

The federal government will almost certainly retain ownership of the Trans Mountain Pipeline beyond this year’s federal election, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said in separate media interviews earlier this week, even with a group of First Nations expressing strong interest in bidding for the troubled project.

Buck: Albertans Are Frustrated, but Pipeline Protesters Aren’t Singling Them Out

A singular focus on pipeline politics and carbon pricing may be distracting from all the other steps Canada must also take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions—but oil and gas isn’t the only focus for groups working against climate change, and no one is trying to single out or target just one Canadian province, writes Joshua Buck, Alberta climate program manager for Environmental Defence.

Fishing Operators Point to Fossils’ Seismic Tests After Plankton Populations Fall 50% in Five Years

Fishing operators in Newfoundland and Labrador are urging a federal-provincial regulator to stop seismic testing by oil and gas companies off Canada’s east coast, after new federal research revealed a 50% drop in plankton populations over the last five years.

Wildfire Liabilities Drive California’s Biggest Power Utility Toward Bankruptcy

Tens of billions of dollars in liabilities from California’s devastating wildfires drove the state’s biggest power utility toward insolvency this week, as Pacific Gas & Electric announced it intended to declare bankruptcy. The decision could affect billions of dollars in utility programs to cut carbon and shift toward energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and renewables.

UK Energy Minister Turns Down Shale Company’s Demand to Ease Earthquake Protections

UK Energy Minister Claire Perry has rebuffed a major fossil company’s demand for less stringent earthquake protection rules for its controversial fracking operations in the northwestern county of Lancashire.

Colorado Court Ruling Favours Fracking Over Climate, Health Concerns

Pipeline Investment ‘Goes Palliative’ in Wake of Unist’ot’en Blockade

Two separate news outlets are declaring the end of pipeline investment in Canada, while several focus in on the differences in jurisdiction between elected and hereditary First Nations chiefs, in the wake of last week’s RCMP raid and subsequent “peaceful resolution” of the Unist’ot’en blockade along TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline in British Columbia.

‘Peaceful Resolution’ to Unist’ot’en Blockade Allows Access, Not Construction, Chiefs Say

Members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation blocking access to TransCanada’s hotly-contested Coastal GasLink pipeline construction site have agreed to allow the company’s workers access through the Unist’ot’en protest camp near Houston, British Columbia, after the Nation’s five hereditary chiefs negotiated a deal to prevent a second RCMP raid on their territory.

Wildfire Liability Could Drive California’s Biggest Utility into Bankruptcy

California’s biggest power utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), may be on its way to bankruptcy court as it faces billions of dollars in costs and multiple lawsuits for the role its equipment may have played in several massive wildfires in the northern part of the state.

UK Resort Town Declares Climate Emergency, Seeks Funds for Net Zero Carbon Target

The town council in Scarborough, a resort community on England’s North Sea, has declared a climate emergency as a first step in taking action against global warming.

Legal Strategies Abound as Climate Liability Trend Becomes a Wave

2018 was the year when the climate liability trend became a wave, with actions from New York City to France to the Philippines and Colombia putting the fossil industry under pressure to take responsibility for the climate impacts of its product.

TransCanada Plans June Construction Start for Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation is hoping to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline in June, with the aim of bringing it online in early 2021.

Emissions Scandal Could Cost Fiat Chrysler Nearly $650 Million

Negotiations Seek ‘Peaceful Solution’ at Unist’ot’en After RCMP Arrest 14 Blocking Coastal GasLink Pipeline

Negotiations were under way between RCMP and hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation Tuesday night, aimed at finding a “peaceful solution” to a standoff that led to 14 arrests when police dismantled the first of two checkpoints set up to stop TransCanada Corporation’s Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline.

Massachusetts to Receive 40 Years of Documents After U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Exxon Appeal

ExxonMobil will have to hand over 40 years’ worth of documents that could shed light on whether it intentionally withheld information on the impacts its products have on climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear its final appeal of a demand from the state of Massachusetts.

Municipal Opposition, Earthquake Restrictions Could Put an End to UK Fracking

A wave of municipal opposition, on the heels of falling natural gas prices, is raising serious questions about the future of hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom, just days after the company with the most extensive exploration rights in the country warned that it won’t proceed unless regulations to protect communities from fracking-related earthquakes are eased.

China Boosts Diesel Emission Standards

Maryland Regulator Rejects TransCanada Gas Link from Pennsylvania to West Virginia

A regulatory body in Maryland has unanimously rejected Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation’s bid to build a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to West Virginia across the western part of the state.

Clyde River, Nunavut Demands Five-Year Extension of Oil Drilling Moratorium

French Climate Petition Approaches Two Million Signatures in One Week as Groups Plot Legal Action

A petition protesting France’s failure to honour its commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement has collected nearly two million signatures in one week, making it the country’s most popular sign-on ever—far exceeding the tally for the country’s well-publicized gilets jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, at just over a million.

Accountability Letter a ‘Fair’ Way to Share Cost of Climate Impacts, Victoria Mayor Asserts

Victoria, British Columbia is stepping into the spotlight as one of the 16 municipalities across the province asking fossil producers to cover their share of the cost of the climate impacts communities can expect to encounter in this century.

Departing Minnesota Governor Appeals Line 3 Pipeline Approval

PG&E Could Face Murder Charges for California Wildfires

North Van Mandates EV Charging for All New Home Parking Spots

Jaccard: Carbon Taxes are ‘Good Policy, Bad Politics’ When Regulations Do Most of the Work

One of Canada’s leading climate economists and modelers is out with a Globe and Mail opinion piece that questions the decades-old narrative that positions carbon pricing as the cornerstone for effective climate policy.

Recognition of Loss and Damage Emerges as COP 24 Success Story

Recognition of the loss and damage vulnerable countries face due to the inevitable impacts of climate change is emerging as a major success story in the aftermath of this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.

Long Island Plans Consumer Protection for $1-Billion Rooftop Solar Industry

Nigeria Files $1.1-Billion Lawsuit Against Shell, Eni

Alberta Fossils Boycott Whistler Conference After City Flags Climate Costs of Fossil Extraction

Several Alberta fossils are boycotting a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, British Columbia, and the bank is considering moving its annual event elsewhere, after Mayor Jack Crompton asked Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to commit to pay for its “fair share of the costs of climate change being experienced” by the weather-dependent ski resort town.

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EU Court Shoots Down Post-Dieselgate Emissions Standard, Empowers Cities to Fight Air Pollution

The General Court of the European Union has upheld the cities of Paris, Brussels, and Madrid in a challenge to what they see as excessively high emissions standards set by the European Commission in the wake of the Dieselgate standard, with C40 Cities hailing the decision as a “huge legal win”.

Norway Parliament Bans Palm Oil-Based Biofuels

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Halted Over Endangered Species

Ontario Receives Failing Grades for Climate Plan, Misses Business Case for Environmental Commissioner’s Office

The Doug Ford government is receiving failing grades for the scantly-detailed climate plan released late last month by Environment Minister Rod Phillips, while a former senior official argues a strong business case for the Office of the Environmental Commissioner (OCE) after Team Ford decided to shut the office down.

Montana Judge’s Keystone XL Ruling Triggers New State Department Review

The U.S. State Department is undertaking a new review of the Keystone XL pipeline, virtually dashing TransCanada Corporation’s hopes of beginning construction on the US$8-billion megaproject in February.

Miami Moves Against Climate Gentrification in Higher-Elevation Neighbourhoods

B.C. First Nations Urge Coastal Tanker Ban

B.C. Regulator Halts Fracking to Investigate Northeastern Earthquakes

Regulator Signs Off on California Solar Roof Mandate

Squamish Nation, Woodfibre LNG Sign $1.1-Billion Impact Benefit Agreement

The Squamish Nation in British Columbia is signing a C$1.1-billion impact benefit agreement with the Woodfibre LNG liquefied natural project, following what the Squamish Chief describes as a “tight 8-6 decision” in favour of the deal.

Northern B.C. Pipeliner Files Injunction Against Indigenous Protesters

B.C. to Argue for Shared Federal-Provincial Role in Ontario, Saskatchewan Carbon Lawsuits

British Columbia is intervening in two separate court cases launched by Saskatchewan and Ontario, both aiming to undercut federal authority to establish a floor price on carbon pollution.

NEB’s ‘Redo’ Could Land Trans Mountain Project Back in Court

The National Energy Board’s “redo” of its failed review of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is taking on the same look and feel as the process that drove the Federal Court of Appeal to shut down construction on the controversial project, writes attorney Eugene Kung argues in a post for National Observer.

SeaRose Oil Platform Still Not Stabilized as Biologists Warn of Wider Wildlife Impacts

Nearly two weeks after Husky Energy’s SeaRose offshore oil platform spilled 250,000 litres of crude oil into the Atlantic Ocean, about 350 kilometres off St. John’s, Newfoundland, the company still can’t guarantee that more oil won’t leak out—and biologists say the worst may still be ahead for nearby bird species.

Quebec Youth Launch Class Action Lawsuit Against Canada’s ‘Inadequate’ Climate Plan

A group of five youth and young adults led by Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) has applied to the Superior Court of Québec for leave to launch a class action lawsuit against the Canadian government, challenging the country’s limited response to climate change on behalf of all Quebeckers aged 35 and under.

National Securities Regulator Would Improve Canada’s Climate Risk Disclosure

A Supreme Court decision earlier this month could open the door for a more unified approach to sustainable finance and low-carbon growth, by allowing Canada to set up a single, national regulator for publicly-traded securities.

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Line 5 Pipeline Runs into Deadline Pressure, Legal Jeopardy as Michigan Governor Leaves Office

Enbridge’s controversial plan to replace the aging Line 5 pipeline with a US$500-million tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan and Ontario is running into severe deadline pressure that could set it up for years of legal and regulatory delays, as Governor Rick Snyder prepares to step aside for a new administration.

Holthaus Urges ‘Global Endangered Species Act on Steroids’ to Protect World’s Wildlife

In the wake of the “gut punch” of a report last month by World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) that confirmed a shocking acceleration in the rate of wildlife extinction globally since 1970, veteran meteorologist and Grist climate columnist Eric Holthaus is arguing that legislation has been—and needs urgently to remain—a powerful shield for the Earth’s non-human inhabitants.

U.S. Ignores Lawsuit, Pursues Plan to Open Arctic Drilling

Warming Closes Maine Shrimp Fishery for at Least Three Years

Milwaukee Plan Would Require Solar on New Buildings

Appeal of New York City Climate Case Draws Widespread Support

Indigenous Opposition Blocks TransCanada Gas Line in Mexico

Indigenous opposition has put at least a temporary hold on a TransCanada Corporation gas pipeline from Texas to central and western Mexico, just a couple of years after the Calgary-based pipeliner made it clear it planned to expand its operations in Mexico in the face of regulatory action and community pushback at home.

U.S. Fossil Lobbyist Says ‘Time is Running Out’ on Climate Action—in 1965

The journal Nature is carrying excerpts of a speech by the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API), warning that “time is running out” to “save the world’s peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution”—as of 1965. “This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action,” Frank Ikard told an oil industry conference, referring to Restoring the Quality of Our Environment, a report by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee. “The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world’s peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is […]

Solar, Wind, Storage Becoming ‘Default Choice’ for U.S. Utilities

A new analysis is pointing toward monumental shifts in U.S. electricity generation markets, with renewable energy and energy storage becoming the “default choice” in regions that were previously dependent on natural gas.

U.S. Orders Containment, Cleanup for 14-Year Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The United States Coast Guard is demanding an end to a 14-year oil spill that has dumped as much as 3.5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico since 2004, putting it on track to surpass the Deepwater Horizon disaster as the country’s worst spill ever.

Seabirds Face ‘Agonizing Death’ as Newfoundland Offshore Oil Spill Becomes Impossible to Clean

Newfoundland and Labrador has no hope of cleaning up from its worst-ever oil spill, after stormy waters off the east coast broke up at least two ocean oil sheens to the point that 250,000 litres of toxic material can no longer be recovered.

‘Carbon-Free’ Virtual Forum Demands 1.5°C Action for World’s Most Vulnerable Nations

The Climate Vulnerable Forum completed the world’s first-ever zero-emissions climate summit this week, a day-long virtual meeting that challenged the inevitably more carbon-intensive COP 24 in Katowice, Poland to usher in tougher national climate targets and make climate financing more available to vulnerable countries.

Oil and Gas Drilling Overwhelms U.S. Public Lands

Newfoundland Regulator Shuts Down Offshore Drilling After Region’s Worst-Ever Oil Spill

Oil and gas operations off Newfoundland and Labrador were shut down over the weekend after stormy weather made it impossible for Husky Energy to contain a 250,000-litre (1,575-barrel) crude oil spill, the worst in the region’s history, about 350 kilometres off the coast.

OPINION: Canadian Fossils ‘Lose Patience’ with Trudeau as World Oil Prices Drag Them Down

With world oil prices heading toward another crash, the swashbuckling free marketeers in Canada’s oilpatch are doing exactly what you would expect: amping up the pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to somehow, magically solve a complex cluster of problems that is ultimately beyond Canadian governments’ control. By Mitchell Beer

U.S. Crab Fishers Sue 30 Fossil Companies for Impacts of Ocean Warming

The biggest commercial fishing association on the U.S. west coast filed a lawsuit last week against 30 major fossil companies, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Carbon Costs of Trans Mountain Could Hit $8.7 Billion Up Front, $4.1 Billion Per Year

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will trigger additional greenhouse gas emissions worth C$2.1 to $8.7 billion per year up front, and $675 million to $4.1 billion per year for as long as it operates, based on a social cost of carbon between $45 and $270 per tonne, environmental journalist Stephen Leahy calculated earlier this year in a post for Vice Motherboard.

Philippines Commission Probes Fossils’ Accountability for Extreme Climate Impacts

The business writers at The Economist are paying attention to an inquiry launched by the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, aimed at determining for the first time whether the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters have violated basic human rights by causing climate change.

NEB Approves Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Line

EPA Plans to Curb Heavy Truck Emissions

Ford ‘Silences Accountability’ by Cutting Provincial Environmental Commissioner

The Doug Ford government tabled legislation yesterday to eliminate the Office of the Environmental Commissioner (OEC), an independent watchdog accountable to the provincial legislature, as part of a fall fiscal update ironically titled “A Plan for the People”.

350.org Urges House Democrats to Probe Exxon for ‘Misleading the Public, Wrecking the Climate’

With Democrats poised to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the new year, 350.org has launched a petition urging the newly-empowered legislators to investigate ExxonMobil, the country’s biggest fossil company, “for misleading the public and wrecking the climate.”

EU’s New Efficiency, Renewable Energy Targets Will Overshoot Its 2030 Climate Goals

The European Union has adopted new energy efficiency and renewable energy targets that could actually overshoot the continent’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, after accounting for slower economic growth due to Brexit.

Ottawa Considers Small Modular Nuclear Roadmap as Regulator Urges Relaxed Impact Assessment

Canada may be preparing to mass-produce thousands of small, modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), based on a technology roadmap coordinated by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and released last week, according to an exposé on The Tyee.

Five Years After Super Typhoon Haiyan, Filipina Survivor Testifies Against Big Fossil Polluters

“As we were leaving Tacloban it reminded me of the scene from the Hunger Games. I thought: I never want to come back to this living hell again.”

Greater Paris Plans 2019 Ban for Older Diesels

Virginia Regulators Think Twice About Pipeline Permit Through Historic African-American Community

Montana Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline

In what InsideClimate News is calling a “striking victory for environmental advocates” who’ve spent more than a decade fighting the project, a federal judge in Montana has ordered an immediate construction halt on the Keystone XL pipeline, after concluding the Trump administration failed to justify its executive order to restart the intensely controversial project.

Hyperbole Replaces Facts in Fossil Lobby Attack on Federal Impact Assessment Bill [Sign-On]

With a new fossil lobby group, Suits and Boots, urging Conservative senators to slow down passage of the Trudeau government’s new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69, climate and energy advocates are gearing up their defence of a bill aimed at restoring some of the environmental protections that were gutted by the previous Harper regime.

Asleep at the Switch: Canada’s Pathway to 1.5°C Means Phasing Out Natural Gas

There’s a massive gap in Canadian climate strategy that is big enough and serious enough to undercut every other effort to turn the country from a climate laggard to a climate leader: Without a fast, determined effort to phase out natural gas, Canada will not meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement, much less deliver on the increased ambition at the heart of the global accord.

Groups Challenge B.C.’s $1 Billion Per Year in Fossil Fuel Subsidies

British Columbia is giving away C$1 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies, including generous incentives for LNG Canada’s new $40-billion liquefied natural gas megaproject, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and Citizens’ Climate Lobby B.C. assert in a release issued earlier this week.

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Canadian Coal Transition Task Force Urges Longer Time Span for Retraining Funds

The task force looking into a just transition for workers affected by Canada’s 2030 coal phaseout is asking the federal government to expand its five-year, C$35-million to cover job training and other services, National Observer reports.

Trump Administration Files Another Delay Against Youth Climate Case

Youth Climate Case Gets Back on Track After Supreme Court Rejects Trump Administration Delay

They haven’t even had a full court hearing yet, but the 21 youth behind a climate justice case against the United States government are already racking up an impressive record of wins before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Friday, both benches rejected the Trump administration’s latest attempt to kill the landmark case before it could go to trial.

CEO Resigns After Alberta Energy Regulator Apology

Ottawa Rejects Emergency Order for Southern Resident Orcas

Regulator’s Scenario Shows $260 Billion in Unfunded Oilpatch Liabilities, Four Times the ‘Public’ Estimate

A “flawed system” of industrial oversight has left Alberta with a staggering C$260 billion in estimated liabilities for abandoned oil and gas facilities, more than four times higher than the figure previously disclosed in public documents from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), National Observer reports, based on a joint news investigation with Global News, the Toronto Star, and StarMetro Calgary.

Transport Canada Embraces GM’s EV Mandate, but GM Canada Isn’t So Sure

Transport Canada is lining up behind General Motors’ call for an electric vehicle mandate in the United States, just days after the giant automaker unveiled a plan that puts it odds with the Trump administration’s effort to roll back the country’s fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.

Pressure Mounts for German Coal Phaseout

Swedish state electricity company Vattenfall has become the latest source of pressure on Germany to abandon coal-fired electricity generation, ahead of a report this December from a government-appointed commission looking into how and when that transition will take place.

Democrats, Enviros Connect Climate Change to (Other) Key Issues in U.S. Midterms

With U.S. midterm elections just five days away, Congressional Democrats are hoping the Trump administration’s relentless rollback of environmental regulations will become a focal point for voters—and quietly planning to target those policies if they gain a majority in the House of Representatives.

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GM, Honda Push Back on Trump Fuel Economy Rollback

Giant automakers General Motors and Honda Motor Co. are joining the pushback against the Trump administration’s bid to unwind vehicle fuel efficiency standards, with GM calling for a national electric vehicle sales program and Honda endorsing steadily tougher mileage standards.

Oregon Joins State-Led Offshore Drilling Ban

WE’LL SEE YOU IN COURT: New York Lawsuit Says Exxon Misled Investors on Climate Risk

Colossal fossil ExxonMobil stands accused of a “longstanding fraudulent scheme” to deceive investors with “false and misleading assurances” about its financial and business exposure to climate change regulations, in a major lawsuit filed Wednesday by Acting New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

Doctors Ask Trudeau for Independent Health Assessment of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

More than 200 health professionals from Canada and around the world are calling on the Trudeau government to conduct an independent health assessment of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, citing key health impacts of climate change that will be made worse by the C$9.3-billion megaproject.

New Safety Regs to Make 21,000 Canadian Rail Cars Obsolete Next Month

Clean Energy Canada Report Points B.C. Toward EV Mandate

Minnesota Delays Ruling on 700-MW Gas Plant

Coal Industry Collapse Could Move Far Enough, Fast Enough to Hit IPCC’s 2030 Target: Analyst

The IPCC’s urgent call for the world’s power utilities to reduce coal consumption 60% by 2030 might look unrealistic through a business-as-usual lens. But it isn’t far off a mounting trend that has only begun to reflect the falling cost and heightened viability of renewable energy, writes Bloomberg News analyst David Fickling.

Guilbeault Steps Down from Équiterre, Plans Book on AI and Climate Change

Veteran environmentalist Steven Guilbeault announced earlier this month that he is stepping down as senior director of Montreal-based Équiterre, the organization he co-founded with Sidney Ribaux in 1993 and helped build into one of Quebec’s most prominent conservation and climate advocacy organizations.

U.S. Supreme Court Puts Temporary Hold on Landmark Youth Climate Case [Call to Action]

The United States Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on Juliana v. United States, the landmark case that pits 21 youth plaintiffs against the inadequacy of federal climate policy, just 10 days before it was set to go to trial October 29.

Hundreds Speak Out Against U.S. Fuel Economy Rollback

EPA May Let Fossils Pump Waste Into Rivers, Streams

UK Legislators Push Diesel Ban from 2040 to 2032

Juliana v. U.S. Goes to Trial October 29 After Judge Rejects Trump Administration Challenge

A landmark climate lawsuit by 21 youth plaintiffs will go to trial October 29 in Eugene, Oregon, after a U.S. district judge shot down the Trump administration’s latest effort to halt discovery and trial in the case of Juliana v. United States.

U.S. Automakers Embrace Trucks, SUVs Despite Buzz Over Electric Vehicles

Despite the persistent buzz about the Big Three U.S. automakers embracing the electric vehicle revolution, the companies’ performance points to their enduring commitment to gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, an analysis by InsideClimate News reveals.

12-Mile Limit for Tanker Assessment Could Put NEB on ‘Another Collision Course with the Courts’

The National Energy Board’s decision to limit its reassessment of oil tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to a range of 12 nautical miles from the coast, rather than 200, is raising questions about how seriously the Board is taking the process—and could set the review up for yet another court challenge, according to one of the groups involved in the original legal battle against the project.

White House Advisors Run Interference Against Perry Coal Bailout Plan

Donald Trump’s determined effort to bail out his country’s dying coal industry appears to have “run aground at the White House”, with the plan facing determined opposition from Oval Office advisors, Politico reports.

When Pipeline Opponents Win in Court, U.S. Regulators Just Change the Rules

Opponents of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) through West Virginia keep challenging the project in court. And when they win, state and federal regulators step in and change the rules, as they did in response to a recent court ruling.

Quebec Club Med Cuts Down Centuries-Old Maples After Receiving Federal, Provincial Loans

Club Med has begun clearcutting a 10.25-hectare forest at the foot of Le Massif ski hill in Quebec’s Charlevoix region, taking down maple trees that had been in the ground for up to two centuries to build a new C$120-million resort that was first announced last year.

U.S. Senate Confirms Climate-Denying Ex-Deepwater Horizon Attorney as Top EPA Lawyer

Appeal Court Orders Fast Emission Cuts in Landmark Decision Against Netherlands Government

An appeal court in The Netherlands put “all world governments on notice” this week, upholding a previous, historic legal order that the national government accelerate its plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Mikisew Cree Lose Supreme Court Case on Duty to Consult, While Heiltsuk Nation Files Suit in Nathan E. Stewart Spill

The Mikisew Cree First Nation in northern Alberta is vowing to carry on the fight, after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the community’s contention that the federal government has a duty to consult Indigenous people before introducing legislation that could have an impact on their treaty rights.

Exxon Sends $1 Million to Carbon Tax Lobby That Would End Climate Litigation

ExxonMobil is donating US$1 million over two years to Americans for Carbon Dividends, a non-profit founded by former U.S. treasury secretary James Baker III and secretary of state George Shultz that is proposing a $40-per-tonne tax on carbon dioxide.

Trump Lifts Ethanol Restrictions, Buys Corn Farmer Votes for U.S. Midterms

EXCLUSIVE: Panic in the (Oilpatch) Suites

Last August 30 was not just a ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ moment for federal and Alberta politicians pushing to accelerate future tar sands/oil sands expansion plans. It was a morning where the coffee urn figuratively tipped over and bestowed third-degree burns.

‘Weak Financial Case’ Makes Teck Tar Sands/Oil Sands Project Unlikely to Succeed: IEEFA

Teck Resources Ltd.’s C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands megaproject in Alberta is unlikely to be commercially viable, offering “a weak financial case with little chance of remaining a going concern for the 41 years promised in the application,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes in a report produced for Stand.earth.

Court Ruling Temporarily Protects 12,000-Year-Old German Forest from Open-Cast Coal Mine

A remnant of Germany’s 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest is temporarily safe from clearcutting, after a senior administrative court in Münster ordered utility giant RWE AG to cease operations until judges could decide on a lawsuit brought by BUND, the German branch of Friends of the Earth.

Kavanaugh’s ‘Craftsmanlike’ Approach Shows Skepticism on Government Climate Action

While newly-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh outraged wide swaths of the American public over allegations that he committed sexual violence in his teens and lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee, his performance as a federal appeals court judge also points to “an extensive record of skepticism toward the government’s powers to act on climate change,” InsideClimate News reports.

EPA to Permit More Toxic Mercury Releases from Coal Plants

Pipeline Roundup: Ottawa Accepts Appeal Court Decision, Notley Supports ‘Indefinite’ Indigenous Consultation, and Environment Commissioner Scorches Marine Mammal Protections

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced Wednesday that the Canadian government won’t appeal the late August Federal Court of Appeal ruling that suspended federal approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and appointed retired Supreme Court judge Frank Iacobucci to run a new pipeline consultation with Indigenous communities.

Poitras: Trudeau’s ‘Grand Bargain’ on Trans Mountain Heeds Global Signals on Peak Oil Demand

With Conservatives blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for killing one pipeline, the climate community scorching him for salvaging another one, and his pan-Canadian climate plan bleeding provincial support, a chance at a grand bargain on climate action and fossil fuel production “now appears to have been a typically Liberal attempt to be all things to all people,” CBC journalist Jacques Poitras writes in Policy Options.

Trump Rollbacks Place $2.5 Trillion in Energy Efficiency Savings in Doubt

Nearly half-way through Donald Trump’s term in the White House, his administration is beginning to focus its relentless penchant for energy deregulation on energy efficiency.

Trump Administration Predicts 3.9°C Average Warming to Justify Fuel Economy Rollback

The Trump administration is acknowledging that humanity is on track to increase average global warming by nearly 3.9°C—7.0°F—by the end of this century, and using that calculation to justify its freeze on fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.

Shipping Lobby Looks for Slower Start to New Fuel Rules

Saxe: Ford Government Must Spend $1-Billion Cap-and-Trade Fund on Climate Solutions

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is sitting on C$1 billion in carbon cap-and-trade revenue, and Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe is warning that it is legally obliged to spend the funds on greenhouse gas reductions.

64 Ballot Initiatives in 24 U.S. States Show Citizens Seizing the Energy Agenda

With United States mid-term elections just 33 days (and 14 hours, 55 minutes) away, citizens across 24 mostly western states have launched 64 separate ballot initiatives to push back on the Trump administration’s determination to gut greenhouse gas regulations and prop up the country’s fossil fuel industries.

U.S. Border Agent Fined $220,000 for Sparking 46,000-Acre Fire

B.C. Cities Narrowly Reject Sending Climate Accountability Letter to 20 Colossal Fossils

West Coast Environmental Law and the Georgia Strait Alliance came up short last week, when 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) voted to send a climate accountability letter to 20 of the world’s most colossal fossils. But while “we narrowly lost the vote,” writes WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it”.

Musk Relinquishes Tesla Chair, Remains as CEO as Regulator Assesses $40 Million in Fines

Elon Musk will step down as chair of Tesla Inc. for at least three years, pay a US$20-million civic penalty, but retain his position as the company’s CEO under a deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that is still subject to court approval.

Offshore Seismic Testing for Oil and Gas Could Endanger Marine Food Chains

U.S. fossils are pushing back after research found that a common technique used in offshore oil and gas exploration endangers marine food chains by doubling to tripling the death rate of zooplankton at a distance of at least 1.2 kilometres (three-quarters of a mile)—much farther away than past reports have indicated.

‘Ludicrous’ NEB Deadline Gives Communities Less Than a Week to Enter Trans Mountain Review Process

Facing a tight, 22-week deadline from the Trudeau government, the National Energy Board (NEB) has kicked off a new round of hearings on the intensely controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and given stakeholders an October 3 deadline—less than a week—to file comments or register to appear at the hearing.

Polluter-Pay Principle Should Apply to Compensation for Victims of Climate Disasters

As Hurricane Florence battered the east coast of the United States of America and Super Typhoon Mangkhut hit Philippines and China, an important scientific breakthrough took place.

U.S. Securities Regulator Sues Musk for ‘False, Misleading’ Tweets

Trump Repeals Obama-Era Rule to Control Exploding Oil Trains

UK to Restart Fracking Within Weeks

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/

Hearings Open in Fort McMurray for New $20.6-Billion Tar Sands/Oil Sands Mine

Public hearings opened in Fort McMurray yesterday for a massive, C$20.6-billion tar sands/oil sands mine proposed by Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd.

Ford Climate Cuts Throw Away ‘Lowest-Cost Pathways’, Environmental Commissioner Warns

The Doug Ford government is on track to reverse reductions in Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) between 2005 and 2016 and throw away the lowest-cost pathways to a sustainable economy, according to the annual report published yesterday by Ontario Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe.

U.S. Pipeline Regulator Restarts Work on ‘Unnecessary Boondoggle’

NEB Sees No ‘Immediate Danger’ in Hundreds of Faulty Pipeline Fittings

Hundreds of steel fittings currently in use in major Canadian pipelines are at risk of swelling or breaking if they’re put under enough pressure, according to a new National Energy Board report. The NEB says it isn’t concerned that the pipelines are in any immediate danger, even though the fittings fall short of Canadian manufacturing standards.

Appeals Court Support for Illinois Nuclear Subsidy Could Buoy State Renewables Programs

A U.S. appeals court decision on an Illinois subsidy for nuclear power plants is the latest of several that could help state governments support renewable energy development.

Michigan Brewer Taps Into Arguments Against Line 5 Pipeline

Muskrat Falls ‘Boondoggle’ Inquiry Opens in Labrador

Trump’s EPA Allows Cross-Border Coal Pollution in Maryland, Delaware

U.S. Still Faces Pipeline Pressures Under Fossil-Friendly Trump

Ottawa Weighs Hiring Retired Judge to Guide Trans Mountain Consultations While Kinder Morgan Plots Canadian Asset Sale

While Houston-based Kinder Morgan made moves to sell off the last of its Canadian assets, federal sources say the Trudeau government—Kinder Morgan’s C$4.5-billion benefactor in the bailout—is considering hiring a retired federal judge to guide a new round of Indigenous consultation in light of last month’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling against the project.

Shadowy Private Intelligence Firm Helps Fossils, Federal Government Monitor Pipeline Activists

A shady private intelligence firm that “promises to help oil and gas operators mitigate the threat posed by an increasingly sophisticated activist movement”, and has counted Kinder Morgan and the Canadian government among its clients, is the focus of a Mother Jones investigation republished last week by National Observer.

Three U.S. States One-Up Trump with HFC Phaseout Plan

Ecojustice, Greenpeace Declare Partial Victory as Ford Government Opens Climate Consultations

Ecojustice and Greenpeace Canada declared a partial victory Wednesday after the Doug Ford government opened public consultations on its decision to eliminate Ontario’s carbon cap-and-trade plan, just hours after the groups filed suit over the province’s pre-emptive rollback of the Wynne-era program.

‘Toxic Bitumen Export Corridor’ Exposes Salish Sea to Unacceptable Risk, Officials Tell Trudeau

Citing the recent death of a killer whale calf as “our canary in a coal mine,” elected officials from a number of Salish Sea communities, both Canadian and American, are pleading with the Trudeau government to withdraw its support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Even Brief Exposure to Diluted Bitumen Doesn’t End Well for Sockeye Salmon Eggs

Even brief exposure to diluted bitumen significantly impairs the development and survival of sockeye salmon eggs, according to a new paper in the journal Aquatic Toxicology.

EU Pushes for 45% CO2 Cut for Cars, Vans by 2030

Iowa Utility Pitches 60% Cut in Energy Efficiency Programs

Cities, States, Businesses Drive Down U.S. Carbon Pollution While Trump Prepares to Deregulate Methane Emissions

While the Trump administration prepares to undercut Obama-era controls on methane emissions from oil and gas operations, more than 3,000 U.S, cities, states, businesses, investors, counties, regional associations, faith communities, and post-secondary institutions are on track to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 17%—and possibly by as much as 24%, bringing the country close to meeting its promised target under the Paris Agreement.

Electrification of Everything Set to Triple Global Grid Capacity by 2050

Global grid capacity is on track to triple by 2050 as power utilities scramble to accommodate a surge in electric vehicles and new renewable energy capacity, according to a new report by Oslo-based DNV GL.

Ecojustice, Greenpeace File Suit Against Ford Government’s Climate Rollback

The Doug Ford government in Ontario is about to land in court, after it cancelled the province’s carbon cap-and-trade system without putting a replacement program in place.

No Quick Fixes to Trans Mountain Impasse, Trudeau Warns Albertans

On the same day last week when he told media in Edmonton he would consider legislation to restart the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also warned Albertans not to expect a short-term legislative fix to get the C$13.8-billion project back on track.

13-Point ‘To-Stop List’ Offers Trudeau a Way Forward After Trans Mountain

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet try to patch together a to-do list to salvage the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in light of last week’s Federal Court of Appeal decision, Policy Options is out with a 13-point to-stop list they really ought to consider, drawn up by The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer.

Tories Duck Responsibility for Harper Regulatory Rollback that Caused Trans Mountain Delay

Federal Conservatives are trying to duck responsibility for legislative rollbacks and regulatory decisions during the Stephen Harper years that sowed the seeds for last week’s Federal Court of Appeal decision that at least temporarily halted the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legislation Drives Entrepreneurship as Community Solar Soars in Illinois

Entrepreneurial enthusiasm—enabled and secured by serious state legislation—is building a strong future for both local and out-of-state solar companies in Illinois.

National Observer’s De Souza Reveals How He ‘Unwrapped the Kinder Morgan Saga’

When the Federal Court of Appeal issued its blockbuster decision last Thursday revoking the Trudeau government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, one of the heroes of the story was someone with no professional opinion on whether the pipeline should be built. In this post, National Observer Managing Editor and investigative ace Mike De Souza details the painstaking research behind some of the biggest revelations on the Trans Mountain file.

Four MPs Demand Committee Hearing on Trans Mountain Bailout

Environmental Commission Seeks ‘Factual Record’ on Alberta Tailing Ponds

RIde-Hailing Services Kill Support for Transit

Appeal Court Halts Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction in Scathing Rebuke to NEB

In a scathing rebuke of the National Energy Board’s “unjustified failure” to consider oil tanker risks triggered by expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the Federal Court of Appeal voted unanimously yesterday to quash approval of the controversial, C$13.8-billion project.

Notley Yanks Alberta Out of Federal Climate Plan

Hours after a landmark court decision striking down federal approval of the C$13.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced she was withdrawing her province from the pan-Canadian climate plan “until the federal government gets its act together”.

California Adopts 2045 Deadline for 100% Carbon-Free Power, Speeds Up EV Deployment

California legislators voted this week to adopt a 100% carbon-free electricity target for 2045 and accelerate electric vehicle deployment across the state.

Time for Ottawa to Step Away from Trans Mountain, 189 Academics Assert

With the declared cost of completing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion up to C$9.3 billion—a $1.9 billion escalation from Kinder Morgan’s previous estimate—it’s time for Ottawa to step away from a project that has been “shrouded in secrecy” and runs counter to the government’s own policy commitments, states an opinion piece published just a day before yesterday’s blockbuster ruling by the Federal Court of Appeals.

Sentencing Should Reflect ‘Real-World Context’ for Pipeline Protests, Doctor Tells TMX Judge

The massive, irrefutable harms to human health already being delivered by climate change demand that courts rule beyond the narrow letter of the law when pipeline protesters are up on charges, writes Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment co-founder Warren Bell in an open letter to B.C Supreme Justice Kenneth Affleck, published recently in the National Observer.

Canadian Conservatives Focus on Carbon Pricing as 2019 (and 2018) Ballot Issue

Two more Conservative politicians in Canada are working to turn carbon pricing into a winning ballot issue.

Tesla 1, Ontario 0 as Judge Overrules ‘Arbitrary’ Treatment on EV Subsidy

The Doug Ford government in Ontario arbitrarily singled out Tesla Canada for harm by excluding the company’s vehicles from a grace period for the phaseout of the province’s electric vehicle subsidy, Superior Court Judge Frederick Myers ruled Monday.

Houston Voters Support $2.5-Billion Flood Control Bond

Shippers May Still Use High-Sulphur Fuel Under New IMO Rule

New Bill Requires ‘Carbon-Free Resources’ to Replace Diablo Canyon Nuke

Ottawa Urged to Seek Allies on Tougher Tailpipe Emission Standard

As the federal government unveiled a new consultation paper last week on tailpipe emission controls for light duty vehicles, CBC columnist Don Pittis was pointing to what Canada stands to achieve—and the allies it can expect to gain—if it adheres to its existing standard, rather than aligning with Donald Trump’s efforts to gut the equivalent U.S. regulation.

South Portland, Maine Wins Landmark Case Upholding Local Anti-Pipeline Ordinance

The city of South Portland, Maine and environmental groups are praising a federal court ruling that a local ordinance banning bulk loading of tar sands/oil sands crude onto coastal tankers does not violate the U.S. constitution.

Southeastern U.S. Utility Actively Undermines Solar, Increases Energy Poverty

An Alabama utility’s punitive fees against small-scale solar users who seek to remain connected to the grid are an example of a regulatory climate throughout the economically-depressed southeastern United States that is actively contributing to energy poverty, according to a Grist report recently republished by Resilience.org.

Public Beach Wins, Private Mansion Loses as California Couple Ordered to Remove Sea Wall

The California Coastal Commission has voted unanimously to force a Laguna Beach couple to tear down a sea wall that protects their mansion, while gradually destroying a nearby public beach.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Burnaby’s TMX Challenge

Trump Regulatory Rollback Will Do Little to Save Tanking Coal Industry

Alberta Saves Fossils $140M with ‘Streamlined’ Regulations

Two Provinces, Conservative Senators Turn Up the Heat on Federal Impact Assessment Act

Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act is facing opposition on two fronts, with two provinces and a pair of Conservative-affiliated senators claiming the measure will harm the country’s economic competitiveness.

Trump Climate Plan Would Cause 1,630 Premature Deaths Per Year, Multiple Health Impacts, EPA Admits

The Trump administration’s replacement for President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan will cause up to 1,630 premature deaths, 96,000 more cases of “exacerbated” asthma, 48,000 lost work days, and 140,000 lost school days in 2030, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimate that might understate the impact, according to independent analysts.

Legal Rights for Nature Could Help Protect Biodiversity

With environmental destruction escalating around the world, environmentalists are accelerating conservation efforts through such endeavors as the Nature Needs Half (NNH) movement, and fighting pitched battles to have nature formally recognized as a legal entity with inalienable rights that must be protected.

‘Fuzzy Math’ Could Undercut Trump’s Clean Power Plan Rollback

The Trump White House is about to unveil a replacement for President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan that would devolve regulatory decisions to state governments and release dramatically more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. But at least one report says the administration’s “fuzzy math” could be the new plan’s undoing.

EPA Disputes Trump Claim That Fuel Economy Rollback Will Boost Highway Safety

Career officials within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are disputing the Trump administration claim that rolling back fuel economy standards will reduce the death rate from roadway collisions, according to internal documents released last week.

Washington Judge Kicks Youth Climate Case Back to Elected Officials

NEB Approves Construction on Most of Trans Mountain Route

Trans Mountain Buyout Clears U.S. National Security Review

Tesla Sues Ontario Over Dropped EV Incentives